I have long been a fan of Eddie Murphy as he just has this ability to make me cry with laughter, and there are some fabulous Eddie Murphy movies that always brighten my day. Eddie first leapt onto our screens in the 70s as a stand up comedian and since then, he has been entertaining audiences with his fabulous characters and multiple on-screen personas. Here are a few of them in my favourite Eddie Murphy movies.
1. Coming to America
This is one of my all time favourite Eddie Murphy movies and sees him playing an African prince who moves to America in search of a wife. And where best for a prospective king to find his queen than in the easternmost borough of New York, Queens? Murphy stars with another stand-up comedy great from the '80s, Arsenio Hall. There's a bit of cinematic intertextuality as well, with the homeless people who receive money from the prince being the Duke brothers from Trading Places, a clever and subtle nod at his earlier movie. It also stars the stentorian James Earl Jones as Eddie's father, the King of Zamunda, King Jaffe Joffer. This is also the first film in which Murphy plays multiple characters, demonstrating his acting prowess and paving the way for more movies where he assumes more than one character.
2. Eddie Murphy Raw
I will never forget being about ten years old and innocently putting this video on during a Saturday afternoon. My father walked in partway through and was faced with the living-room air peppered with four letter words. Needless to say he promptly turned it off. Ever since then, I have been hooked on this guy and his incredible wit, even if I may have been a little too young at the time to appreciate what exactly he was inferring when my dad walked in! This isn't exactly a movie but is a stand up show with Eddie at his very best: unapologetically controversial and hilarious.
3. The Golden Child
This is a much underrated film from 1986 but I actually really enjoyed this one. Murphy plays a private detective who is trying to locate a lost child and travels to Tibet with the woman who believes he is the chosen one. This movie was originally intended to be more serious, with Mel Gibson as the person charged with finding the missing child. But Gibson turned it down and Murphy got hold of the script and well, the rest is Hollywood history!
4. Beverly Hills Cop
This is one of my all-time favourite comedies and it's Murphy who really makes this movie from 1983. It spawned a number of sequels which never quite matched Axel Foley's first foray into the underbelly of LA's criminal underworld. The accompanying soundtrack is superb too, and anyone who is a fan of the '80s will love this movie. Actors who were considered for the Foley role include Al Pacino and Sylvester Stallone and as much as I love these two cinematic heavyweights, Murphy is THE one and only Beverly Hills Cop.
5. Trading Places
This is a star studded '80s affair and Murphy teams up with Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis and Jim Belushi, to name just a few of the other comedy greats in this classic. This movie from 1983 sees an investor and con artist trading places with two millionaires, with hilarious consequences.
6. The Nutty Professor
The fact that Murphy is able to assume multiple characters, and so effectively, is quite astounding in this '90s version of the '60s classic. Murphy plays the morbidly obese Professor Klump who is desperate to lose weight, and when he takes a special chemical, it turns him into a slim but very unlovable Buddy Love.
7. 48 Hours
Murphy's debut feature film from 1982 sees Murphy team up with Nick Nolte. This is Murphy's breakthrough movie and paved the way for many of the ensuing comedies in which he would star during the '80s and '90s. Nick Nolte is the cop who has been tasked with working with the wise-cracking and recently paroled Murphy, in an attempt to track down a killer. As expected, the sequel Another 48 Hours doesn't match the first but it's still worth a watch just to see Murphy in action.
These are just a few of Eddie's fabulous movies. Is anyone else a fan? Which are your favourite Murphy movies?